Tyne & Wear

Puffins not PowerPoint as Farne Islands seeks new ranger

Farne Islands ranger holding a puffin Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The new ranger - one of two full time - will monitor puffins, seals and other wildlife on the islands

Wanted - man or woman with more knowledge of puffins than PowerPoint.

The National Trust is looking for a "brave" and "hardy" new ranger to work on the remote Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast.

Duties will include monitoring protected wildlife, scientific research and occasionally hair-drying damp chicks.

Countryside manager Gwen Potter said it was not "the normal nine to five" and "not a job for the faint-hearted".

"Being good with PowerPoint isn't a priority," she added.

Image copyright Chris Lacey/National Trust
Image caption Sometimes "sickly" Arctic terns need a quick blow-dry

Rangers live on the island, about two miles off the coast, for nine months of the year and need to be willing to "brave dive-bombing attacks from Arctic terns", the trust said.

There is no running water - apart from the sea - and storms can leave rangers "marooned" on the islands for weeks at a time.

Workplace social life is limited to thousands of puffins, one of England's largest seal colonies - and an annual 50,000 visitors.

Ms Potter said "living here, you truly feel like you're on the edge of the world".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The islands are a breeding ground for one of Europe's largest grey seal colonies with around 4,000 adults giving birth to 1,500 pups every year

'We're looking for someone with a passion for wildlife and conservation - and who wants to share that passion with others," she said.

The islands have been protected for 189 years and have been a site for scientific research for decades.

Other duties will include making repairs, counting seal pups and carrying out a five-yearly puffin census.

Applications must be in by 7 February.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The five-yearly census requires the rangers to inspect puffin nests at close quarters

About the Farne Islands

  • The Farne Islands, about two miles off the Northumberland coast, can only be reached by boat
  • There are 28 islands, although many are submerged at high tide
  • Wildlife includes puffins, grey seals, shags, kittiwakes, razor bills, eider ducks and guillemots
  • St Cuthbert's Chapel was built on Inner Farne in the 14th century
  • The lighthouse on Longstone Island was home to famous rescuer Grace Darling

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